Bipartisan FORMULA Act Passes House
July 15, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) applauds the passage of the bipartisan Formula Act in the US House of Representatives. The Formula Act was introduced in the House by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, Representative Earl Blumenaur (D-OR) along with the subcommittee’s Ranking Member, Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) and a growing list of additional cosponsors.
Recently, the US Senate unanimously passed a modified version of the FORMULA Act introduced by Sen. Lee. The FORMULA Act was created to combat domestic baby formula shortages and bolster the supply chain to help American families feed their babies. Recent shortages come in the immediate aftermath of a recall and temporary closure of a major American formula factory, but highlight systemic weaknesses in this vital supply chain. Due to the disruption, families in Utah and across the nation are struggling to feed their babies. The FORMULA Act will lift substantial tariffs on the importation of baby formula and reduce the costs borne by retailers trying to keep their shelves stocked.
Following House passage of the Formula Act, Sen. Mike Lee said, “With the highest birthrate in the nation, Utahns have particularly felt the weight of this prolonged baby formula crisis. I am thrilled to see the Formula Act pass the House with bipartisan support. We are one step closer to providing desperately needed relief to American newborns. For my part, I am committed to ensuring the bill once again passes the Senate and is signed into law.”
Lead House sponsor, Chairman Blumenaur (D-OR) said, “Suspending tariffs on the importation of infant formula and relieving parents of steep price increases is a critical step to ending the infant formula shortage. This crisis requires a whole government response. The Biden Administration has taken important steps to increase supply and I applaud the FDA’s actions to import more formula. Now Congress must act to temporarily remove tariff barriers so families can access affordable formula.”
Ranking Member Adrian Smith (R-NE) said, “The Formula Act makes infant formula more accessible and affordable by allowing it to be imported duty-free through the end of the year. Families should never have to experience the despair of worrying whether shelves will be stocked with the formula they need to feed their infants. As a father of two, including a one-year-old, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of children. I will continue to work with my colleagues to use trade tools to strengthen critical supply chains, like infant formula.”
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said, “America’s mothers and fathers need help. This should never be a concern in our great nation, but young families are hunting from store to store to feed their infants. Red tape led to the culmination of the baby formula crisis, and removing it is our best way out. I’m so proud to say that Congress has drafted bipartisan legislation that temporarily waives trade tariffs, allows for the importation of safe baby formula, and increases formula options here at home. I look forward to President Biden signing this critical, bipartisan bill into law.”
House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee member, Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) said, “The baby formula crisis underscores the fragility of our supply chains when there is intense industry consolidation. Washington state in particular has felt the brunt of the formula shortage with parents facing empty shelves earlier and more acutely than other states. Parents should never struggle to feed their kids. This legislation will help alleviate this crisis by lowering the price of imported baby formula from safe and trusted partners abroad while our domestic production catches up.”
NOTE: Negotiations resulting in the lengthening of the tariff waiver timeline as well as certain economic implications require the Formula Act be presented anew to the US Senate.